What's In Arielle Dombasle's Makeup Bag?

Cabaret star ARIELLE DOMBASLE on l’amour and lip gloss

John Sciulli
Thank heaven for 48-year-old French girls like Arielle Dombasle. Without them, what would generations of grown-up Frenchmen do? The ultimate international gamine in a series of '80s movies directed by Eric Rohmer (Pauline at the Beach is particularly worth renting), Dombasle has evolved into a chanteuse in the breathy Marilyn Monroe tradition. Also like MM, who was briefly married to playwright Arthur Miller, Dombasle's spouse is an intellectual, the Byronic Bernard-Henri Lévy, who is consistently called a "rock-star philosophe" because of his style and sex appeal. Dombasle wastes no time in telling us that "BHL," as he is known, is her beauty secret: "When you're in love, it shows. If you're a lonesome little chicken, that shows, too." Not long ago, when Dombasle was in town for her New York debut at Manhattan's Supper Club, we went backstage after she performed a series of her favorite international standards to a packed house. Flushed but still flawless, she talked about the makeup that is such an essential part of her life onstage, and joked that she had reserved a special front-row seat for her beloved hairdresser, the U.S.-based Frenchman Julien Farel. "Funny that I come all the way here to get my hair cut by a Frenchman. I wish I could take him everywhere with me-Liz Taylor does that. But that would be too coquettish, don't you think?"

1. DRUGSTORE MINTS: "Ahhh, always mini mints-fresh breath is essential! It doesn't matter what brand-I think I got these inParis."

2. HER OWN FRAGRANCE BLEND: "It's a concoction I've worn for years: Clinique Aromatics Elixir plus a few drops of white musk oil (I add them to the perfume bottle). A cab driver in Washington, DC, told me about the oil-you can only find it in obscure little drugstores."
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